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I am 29 years old.

I am too old for hickeys.

But apparently, my hungry, teething, 4-month-old did not get that memo.

nicohickey

Thanks a lot, kid.

Note to self: feed him immediately next time.

Road trip conversations

Me: When you see a road labeled “business” what does that mean to you?

Husband: It’s like having a local or express lane.

Me: Right, but which one would it be?

Husband: Local. Why?

Me: Oh…well, in my head, the business lane was always the express lane. Because I always imagined that if you’re on business, you want to get there faster.

Husband: No…[many jokes involving the phrase, “Out of my way! I mean business!”] but I love the way your brain works.

 

And I can’t even blame this one on pregnancy brain.

Well, that went quickly

It seems like one day you’re begging your unborn child to just get out already, and the next you have a 4-month-old who coos and giggles and has newly discovered happy baby pose.

I've yet to capture happy baby pose with the camera. He's too fast!

I’ve yet to capture happy baby pose with the camera. He’s too fast!

 

How does time do that?

After N was born, and I had managed to scrape together more than 20 minutes of sleep at a time, I had all of these blog ideas running through my head:

  • Things I wish I’d known about labor (including how to cope when the epidural wears off before you start pushing)
  • Why “sleep when the baby sleeps” is impossible
  • What to do when strangers reach for your child
  • Pretty much anything about strangers reacting to and asking personal questions about your baby and childbirth

And yet, you’ll notice that there has been complete radio silence since I last posted. Not even a, “Hey! He’s here!” post. Nothing. Because you know what?

This kid is a time-suck.

To be fair, I mean that in the best possible way. Of all the things that I could be spending time on, I love that it’s him. But these past four months have been a complete shift in priorities and time management. They’ve also been an incredible learning experience.

I’ve learned that:

…a 15  minute shower is a luxury.

…baby smiles make everything better.

…when your baby is teething, anything that comes near his mouth is fair game.

…you’ll need at least twice as long as you think you will to get out of the house.

…it’s perfectly normal to go from laughing to crying to laughing in the span of two minutes – both for you and the baby.

…you will get peed on.

…you will get poop on you.

…OxiClean is amazing.

…baby yawns are almost as cute as baby smiles.

…joint baby and puppy naps will melt your heart.

…I wouldn’t change a thing.

mannyniconap

Past due

Dear Baby,

Get out.

I’m sorry, that was rude. You’re new here (or, at least, you will be), so maybe you don’t know the rules yet.

When someone invites you over (with an expected end date), feeds you, houses you, and doesn’t complain (much) when you kick them in the ribs or squeeze their bladder, it’s only polite to leave at the appropriate time.

Maybe you’re nervous about the next steps, or maybe you’re just incredibly comfortable, which is all understandable. And that’s why most hosts, myself included, will be flexible with a day or two.

A full week is pushing it, my friend.

I am tired. I am tired of lugging around 30+ extra pounds, and running out of breath going up and down the stairs.

At this point, I would gladly trade waking up in the middle of the night to feed you, for the current situation of waking up multiple times to pee.

I’d like to be able to stand up from the couch, without needing a nudge from your father.

And I’d love to be able to walk anywhere without waddling.

But mostly, Baby, I just want to meet you. So does Husband; so does Manny, though, in fairness, he might think you’re a toy at first.

See? He's anxiously awaiting your arrival.

See? He’s anxiously awaiting your arrival.

You also have two grandparents already here to meet you, and one on her way shortly. And you do not want to keep any of them waiting.

I know it’s been a long, cold, snowy winter. And maybe you’re just making sure that spring is real before you make your debut. Maybe you’re waiting until the Phillies have a winning record (don’t – we don’t have that long), or until Manny’s birthday, so you can always share a party. (I wouldn’t recommend it, though – he’ll always go after your cake.)

But I want you to know we’re ready for you. As ready as we’ll ever be.

And there are countless friends and family members (pets included) who are also anxious to meet you and sniff you and hold you and love you.

So don’t think of this as an eviction notice, but as a gentle nudge toward the outside world.

I promise it’s not so bad out here.

I already love you,

Mama

Testing a theory

I’ve long held the belief that running a marathon is similar to giving birth. And soon enough, I’ll be able to test that theory.

The nerd in me is thrilled.

(You know, in addition to being thrilled about finally meeting my son.)

So far, I can only speak for marathons, but my hypothesis is that the following apply to both scenarios:

  • You prepare for months ahead of time, but when it comes down to race/birth day, it’s all just a crapshoot, dependent on the amount and quality of sleep you got, the weather, your previous meal, the encouraging signs, etc.
  • You push your body to its limits, make it go through a certain amount of pain and agony, and come out with a prize on the other end.
  • There may be blood, chafing, or other bruises.
  • You can’t walk normally for the next few days and yet, when you decide to do it again, you conveniently forget that part.

When I went through my Marathon Maniac phase, I remember finishing the Chicago Marathon, collapsing, and thinking, How the hell am I going to do this again in 3 weeks?

But I did. (And then I did it again.) Because the body is an amazing machine. And somehow, in three weeks, the pain was nothing compared with the adrenaline of crossing the finish line and achieving my goals.

I don’t know what birth is going to be like. Or rather, I don’t know what it’ll be like for me.

I very much doubt that I’ll be willing to do it all over again in just three weeks – never mind the fact that that’s not even possible. But I imagine that, given some time, I’ll forget the pain and only remember the wonder of bringing a little human into the world.

I mean, it’s got to work that way, otherwise there wouldn’t be any younger siblings, right?

I wish I had recorded this phone conversation and could share it that way, but this is the next best thing. It’s not exactly word-for-word, but it’s pretty damn close.

It all started with me updating my mom on our baby preparation.

Me: And we have an appointment tomorrow to get the car seat inspected.

Mama: You have to get it inspected? Why?

Me: You don’t have to, but to make sure it’s installed right. Make sure it’s not too loose, all of that.

Mama: We never got our car seats inspected. They just trusted we knew how to do it. And you only fell out once.

Me: What? When?

Mama: I don’t know. I was in a hurry. Maybe I didn’t buckle you in right, or maybe the seat was loose. But I noticed eventually when you were on the floor in the backseat.

Me: Oh, good. Was this when you hit the guardrail?

Mama: No, that was a different time. You didn’t fall out then.

***at another point in the conversation***

Me: And we got a mirror so we can see what’s going on with him when he’s in the car seat.

Mama: That’s what the rearview mirror is for.

Me: Yes, but that doesn’t work when they’re rear-facing.

Mama: What?! They’re rear-facing? Since when? And why? How am I supposed to notice when you’re eating pennies or sticking them up your nose?

Me: That’s what the backseat mirror is for!

***and later on, referencing the permanent bump on my head***

Mama: I know when you got that bump.

Me: You told me you weren’t sure.

Mama: Well, it could have been any number of times. You did a lot of face plants, and none of them had to do with a car seat being too loose.

Me: Not even when I fell out?

Mama: You didn’t fall on your head that time.

Me: On that note, I know you have baby gates, so how is it possible that I went down the stairs in my walker? (one of my many face plants)

Mama: I don’t know. Maybe I didn’t put the gate up. Maybe I thought you couldn’t reach it. Or maybe you moved it.

Me: So you underestimated me?

Mama: Constantly.

So I’ve fallen out of my un-inspected, forward-facing car seat, presumably stuck pennies up my nose, done multiple face plants, and removed baby gates from my path. And I’m fine.

I can’t say that I wish these things for my son, but at least I know that he’ll survive.

And we’re still getting the seat inspected.

Buzzfeed has now managed to create a quiz for everything.

Not only can you find out what city you’re supposed to live in or what career path you should follow (that quiz was actually more helpful than my high school guidance counselor), but you can also find out what characters you are – everything from Scandal to Biblical heroines.

abigail

I got Abigail. Who I’ve hardly heard of.

And, on an even more timely note, there’s also a quiz to tell you what you should give up for Lent. Because these kinds of decisions are just so hard to make on your own.

I’m a sucker for quizzes and gross generalizations, but even I think that maybe Buzzfeed is going a little bit too far.

That said, I took the Lent quiz (because once again I’ve left my Lenten decision until the last minute) and discovered that Buzzfeed thinks I should give up television.

According to the quiz:

No one pops more culture than you. You’re a trendsetter when it comes to taste, but this Lent is an awesome opportunity to open up to some new challenges. Turn off the telly and put yourself out there!

Let me stop you right there. This result is about as wrong as when you told me I was Olivia Pope. (I wish.)

Olivia-Pope

As if I could wear that much white and not spill on it

I don’t think trendsetters go to bed at 9pm or spend their weekends at home, in the suburbs, reading Jack Reacher novels. (For that matter, neither does Olivia Pope.)

And all this culture that I’m popping – does that include watching Jeopardy and NCIS? Because, if that’s the case, maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m a pop culture maven.

It’s far more likely, though, that these quiz results are skewed – or just not very scientific in the first place. Shocking, I know, but I’m not sure how my favorite fruit is going to predict what I should give up for 40 days.

Which means that, once again, I have to make this decision on my own. And, once again, I will likely vote to give up nothing.

My Lent give-ups have run the gamut in the past, from TV to gossiping to cursing to chocolate to diet coke to alcohol. The diet coke ban has become permanent, the alcohol has been on hold for the past 8 months, and, at the risk of perpetuating a stereotype, don’t even think about taking away my chocolate when I’m four weeks out from having a baby.

So this year, like last year, I will focus on giving. Obviously, I won’t be going to Nepal again, but I will focus on the activities that I’m already involved in – giving my time and my attention and support to causes that I love.

That’s not to say I’ll never give up something tangible again. And there might come a time that I need a hiatus from TV. But for right now, this focus on giving is the best way for me to celebrate the season.

Take that, Buzzfeed.

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